Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic celebrates fifth anniversary
On Tuesday, October 11, an anniversary celebration took place as founder Dr. Jack Ludmir embarks on his latest career journey.
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Almost immediately after joining Jefferson University Hospitals in March 2017, Jack Ludmir, MD, made his impact and presence felt.
Less than a week into his tenure, Dr. Ludmir co-founded the Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic along with his wife, Blima, with a focus on providing comprehensive care to women from Hispanic and Latinx populations who may not have anywhere else to turn to.
Services include prenatal and postnatal care, medical-legal guidance, and behavioral health counseling, among others.
Since its launch, Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic has served more than 400 women and more than 500 pregnancies.
In the words of Dr. Ludmir, “The beauty of life is manifested when you do something for another human being.”
That is the message that has kept him going throughout his illustrious and impactful career.
On Tuesday, October 11, the Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic celebrated its five-year anniversary.
From his work as an obstetrician, Dr. Ludmir has seen it all when it comes to issues of maternal disparities and maternal mortality in regions across the globe.
While his visits to different countries have had a profound impact on him personally, it was what he saw in the states that set him on this path.
“It was when I started to notice that pregnant women here in Philadelphia were showing up to labor and delivery without prenatal care,” said Dr. Ludmir. “It was inconceivable to me that here in Philadelphia with all these great institutions, and the city providing health centers and federally qualified centers, that women would not have access to prenatal care.”
What he saw overseas and domestically prompted him to launch the Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic. It also led to previous endeavors, such as the creation of Puentes de Salud alongside Steven Larson, MD, and the Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity.
The Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic has served to address many of the challenges women face during, before and after, the childbirth process.
One of the critical partners of the Latina Women’s Clinic is the Maternity Care Coalition (MCC).
“The vision of MCC is to improve and promote the health and well-being of pregnant women, and parents and families that have children from the ages of zero to three years of age, enhancing their school readiness,” said Tamika Jones-Nwalipenja, the community engagement services team lead at MCC.
During her remarks, she shared the profound impact MCC has been able to make in partnership with the Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic.
“MCC and Jefferson Latina have been able to come together and provide breastfeeding awareness for our families — which is very beneficial for families who are planning on breastfeeding their child — and also to engage fathers — the ones who are sometimes often forgotten when we discuss breastfeeding — but we engage fathers to support their spouses to support their loved ones during that time,” said Jones-Nwalipenja.
“Also helping the community to be able to understand how to communicate with providers if you're unable to breastfeed, and be competent enough to be able to share the struggles that you're having. Also obtaining community resources and community events such as the community baby showers that they host here on a bi monthly basis, and also information in terms of promoting maternal health care, brochures and educational material that's in the Spanish language,” she continued.
In overarching terms, the goal of the two organizations is to dismantle social and economic barriers that play into the structures of systemic racism and discrimination that negatively impact maternal care.
The five-year anniversary celebration coincided with Dr. Ludmir’s departure from the Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic, as he embarks on the next journey in his career.
Elizabeth Liveright, MD, who steps in as the new director of the Latina Women’s Clinic, thanked the Ludmirs for their mentorship.
She noted that taking on this role in her clinical life has brought a different perspective to her professional life, echoing Dr. Ludmir’s remarks on the human element of this kind of work.
“I really look forward to growing and learning more things about how we can continue to service these patients,” said Dr. Liveright.
As the Jefferson Latina Women’s Clinic advances to its next chapter, Blima Ludmir, stressed the importance of continuing the tradition of making sure the Clinic remains a friendly and welcoming place.
“We can be the best place and have the biggest hospital and the biggest offices and the best ultrasound, but if we don't make it welcoming, and make sure everybody is treated with respect and dignity…it doesn't matter,” she said.